what is a banksman?

As a banksman, you direct vehicle movements on a construction or work site. For instance, you ensure large cranes move to the loading and unloading areas without causing accidents or unnecessary traffic. You are the eyes of the truck or crane driver and help them make safe manoeuvres around the work area. You communicate to them using hand signals or radio links to inform them the best time to turn since their visibility maybe be obscured. The driver must understand your signals to avoid making wrong turns.

Your role as a banksman is crucial in busy construction sites and warehouses since the uncontrolled movement of vehicles can lead to costly damages and accidents. For instance, in building sites with large equipment, diggers, trucks and cranes, a banksman takes control of the vehicle operations and creates order.

what does a banksman do?

As a banksman, you need to collaborate and sync with other team members to ensure safety and smooth operations. Precision and accuracy are also vital for relaying accurate instructions to the driver. Uncertainty can cause accidents and equipment damage.

Would working as a banksman suit your communication and attention to detail? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a banksman role.

banksman jobs

average salary of a banksman

According to ONS, a banksman in the UK earns an average salary of £31,200 per year or £16 per hour. When you join the profession, your earnings begin at £29,250 annually. With some experience on the job, you can make up to £35,100 per year. You have various opportunities to increase your earnings through overtime hours and extra shifts. Some employers also provide additional perks like medical allowances, paid vacation days and yearly bonuses.

how to increase your salary as a banksman

As a banksman, your earnings depend on your employer and experience level. At the beginning of your career, you have a few transferable skills and hands-on experience on the job. Hence, your compensation package is low, but the salary increases as you gain experience or acquire additional qualifications. You can improve your skills through short courses and career development training. The scope of your role also impacts your salary. For instance, your compensation package should cover additional duties like loading and unloading. Some industries also pay more than other sectors. You are likely to earn a better salary working in construction sites compared to warehouses or loading docks.

Smiling male looking away wearing yellow jacket and walkie-talkie signing where to go
Smiling male looking away wearing yellow jacket and walkie-talkie signing where to go

types of banksmen

Banksmen can direct different types of transport modes in various industries. Some of the types of banksmen include:

  • signallers: a banksman can assist lift and crane operators in directing the cranes using signals. You use hand signals and various communication channels to help crane operators maintain safety requirements when lifting loads.
  • vehicle banksman: as a vehicle banksman, you are trained to control vehicle movements within work premises. You direct vehicles to reduce traffic in some areas and ensure seamless movements. You also design the paths vehicles will use in a facility to ensure on-site workers are safe.
  • railway banksman: your job is to monitor the train schedule to check for any delays. You also communicate with other control centres to ease train movement on various routes.

working as a banksman

A banksman has an important role in preventing workplace accidents. Let's explore the daily duties of banksmen and their work schedule.


education and skills

Joining a banksman career doesn't require formal training, but an intermediate apprenticeship is a great start. An apprenticeship in a construction firm helps you familiarise yourself with the work environment. You can also take short courses in safe working practices around construction plant equipment and health and safety training to improve your skills. The courses cover guided vehicle movements using signals and strategies for manoeuvres in confined spaces.

skills and competencies

A banksman needs the following skills to succeed:

  • attention to detail: as a banksman, you need to be detail-oriented to help drivers make difficult manoeuvres within a work site. Pay attention to the size and structure of vehicles before providing hand signals to direct their movements. If the driver has a hard time turning a truck due to its weight, you should find the best direction for the vehicle to avoid overturning.
  • communication skills: a banksman should be an exceptional communicator to provide clear and effective instructions. Unclear communications can cause misunderstandings and accidents on the site. Expertise in hand signal communication also comes in handy when you are a banksman.
  • interpersonal skills: as a banksman, you collaborate with drivers for effective vehicle movement. Interpersonal skills help you work in a team during busy schedules to ensure the traffic is under control.
  • knowledge of safety procedures: you need to be aware of on-site safety procedures and make sure workers adhere to them. Sometimes, you have to train other workers on the health and safety guidelines to avoid accidents and injury.
focused male looking behind him
focused male looking behind him


FAQs about working as a banksman

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